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District 308 Outperforms State on First-Ever PARCC Exams

Jan 07, 2016 10:08AM ● Published by Shannon Antinori

Oswego students fared better than their peers across Illinois on the state’s new PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) exam.

The assessment was first administered in March to students in grades 3-8, along with high school students enrolled in certain English and math courses. The test replaces the ISAT, which was administered to third- through eighth-graders, and the PSAE previously taken by high school students. High school students will continue to take the ACT.

Districtwide, 54 percent of students met or exceeded expectations on the PARCC’s English and language arts exams, compared with 38 percent of students across the state. But less than half of Oswego students hit the mark in math, with 44 percent of District 308 students meeting or exceeding standards, compared with 28 percent statewide.

That state-level scores were released in September, while school districts across Illinois received their results in December.

District 308 Superintendent Matthew Wendt reacted to the scores in a Dec. 17 “Ask the Superintendent.”

“ … The district is rewarded in recognizing our school system is outperforming the majority of school districts in Illinois,” Wendt wrote. “We understand there is more work to accomplish, but the baseline of teaching and learning reflects that SD 308 is headed in the right direction.”

According to a report on WSPY, Wendt cautioned against focusing solely on the first-year PARCC results, saying it’s “inappropriate” to judge a district, school, student or teacher based on one assessment alone.

“We’ve been testing kids for 200 years, we know tests are important,” he said, adding it would make more sense to “make it part of a package. Multiple assessments over time will tell a much better story than one test on any one given day,” Wendt added.

District-wide scores, according to Illinoisreportcard.com, were as follows: 

English and language arts

  • Did not meet expectations: 6 percent
  • Partially met expectations: 14 percent
  • Approached expectations: 27 percent
  • Met expectations: 44 percent
  • Exceeded expectations: 10 percent

Math

  • Did not meet expectations: 6 percent
  • Partially met expectations: 19 percent
  • Approached expectations: 32 percent
  • Met expectations: 39 percent
  • Exceeded expectations: 5 percent 

A grade-by-grade breakdown of District 308 PARCC scores is available at Illinoisreportcard.com.

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